Donuts Announces Acquisition of .FAN

Donuts Inc today announced it has re-acquired the .fan new gTLD, making it the 241st TLD in Donuts’ portfolio, with general availability expected in mid-September.

“We are excited to add .fan to our portfolio,” said John Pollard, executive vice president and general manager of the Donuts registry. “Fans literally wear their allegiances on their sleeves, and a .fan domain name will clearly signal a destination for those who passionately support sports teams, musicians, performers, entertainers and causes.”

Donuts currently has 238 new generic top level domains in general availability with 3.958 million domain names under management according to nTLDstats and 4 with more than 100,000 registrations. The largest of these new gTLDs is .ltd with 470,000 registrations followed by .live (189,000), .life (183,000) and .today (105,000). There are also a relatively low number of pending deletes with only 125,000 listed.

In announcing their acquisition, or reacquisition, Donuts explain how fan engagement is a powerful economic driver in sports, e-sports, entertainment, gaming, the arts and other verticals. Social media, new analytics tools and specialized technology are all ways for teams, entertainers, performers, celebrities and their fans to connect. The .fan TLD joins a diverse portfolio of sports and entertainment names that includes: .bike, .football, .bingo, .casino .golf .hockey, .live, .band, soccer, .team, .tennis, .training, .futbol, .dance, .rocks, .events, .movie, .show, .theater, .actor, .dance, and more.

Since .fan is a new release, it will enable registrants to obtain high-quality domain names that have long been unavailable in legacy TLDs, and which are more suitable for search and social media.

In fact, recent research affirms the growing importance of web links that use real words, including new TLDs. In a survey conducted by Sapio Research and commissioned by Donuts, respondents overwhelmingly opted for branded short links using real words, over links containing long strings of characters and / or legacy short links. Reasons for preferring short links using real words included: more meaningful information, clarity of content, identification with the brand, trust and greater simplicity. To learn more about this survey, click here.

The announcement comes less than 2 weeks after Donuts announced they had launched general availability of BL.INK – a new short link solution that uniquely leverages the power of real words – including Donuts’ leading portfolio of 240 new top-level domains – for creating branded and custom short links.

BL.INK is the evolution of BudURL, a best-in-class link management platform that serves top-tier digital marketers in leading companies such as Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Target, and many others in the Fortune 1000.

“TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s Adventure Sports Group has iconic brands such as SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, ADVENTURE SPORTS NETWORK, SNOWBOARDER and POWDER MAGAZINE,” said Kris Heineman, director of Audience Development at TEN. “We switched to BL.INK because we needed a link management platform that’s flexible and agile, to meet the very different needs of each of our media brands. BL.INK enables us to elevate our social marketing and connect with our readers via branded short links.”

Donuts acquired BudURL in 2017 and has been working in stealth mode to enhance the product with unique, game-changing features, a new name (that conveys its agility and simplicity), and a robust API that allows distribution as a value-added service (VAS) through Donuts’ extensive registrar and reseller channel of more than 200 partners.

“We use the BL.INK across all our social channels,” said Jared Muscat, social media content producer at Patagonia. “We are able to track metrics with great detail, and with the branded short link, we’re able to maintain our brand standard while doing so.”